This weekend, while M visited Nana, we worked around the house playing catch up. I caught up on Parenthood, while C finished mudding, sanding, and painting a ceiling he'd drywalled sometime this past spring.
We also had a few guys working outside to demolish a brick porch that had started to slope on one side and either needed the foundation jacked up (expensive!!) or to be torn down and rebuilt. These are great projects do do with a toddler away for the weekend.
Okay, so I actually did a little work, too. We use raw apple cider vinegar for a variety of things, giving it to the hens when they seem to need a little extra nourishment, steeping thyme in it for a cold and cough remedy, as well as for flavoring food and dressing salads.I'd been fermenting a bottle of apple cider that M didn't like the flavor of with mother from a bottle of Braggs, and had success enough with that I decided to try my hand at apple scrap cider vinegar.
Without the little one around to help out (which doesn't work so well when you want to keep an exceptionally clean work space) I knew it was use it or compost it time with the apple scraps. Basically you take the peels and cores, put them in a clean and sterile bottle (or crock), cover with sugar water, and ferment in a dark, cool space until you have vinegar.
I started one gallon last weekend, and a second this past weekend. The first bottle I followed Hip Girls' directions to a T. The sugar plus the sugars in the peels made for a very active fermentation, which forced the concoction up and through the air lock every time the bottle "burped". Needless to say, it was a pretty messy, sticky week for that jug. In another day or so, I'll filter out the liquid from the scrap and let it begin phase II of fermentation.
From that learning curve, I tried a little something different with the second bottle, knowing full well it could be an experimental disaster. I started off with 3/4 the amount of apple scrap, used vinegar with raw mother for about 1/3 the total liquid as a starter culture, and finished the liquid with a water and sugar concoction that was approximately 1/2 gallon filtered water and 1/4 cup sugar. Both bottles, as well as the jar of fermenting peppers in the background of these pics, are now in a closet, all wrapped up, waiting for the yeasts to do their thing.
Want to try your hand at cider vinegar making? Punk Domestics has some great links!